tv Charlie Rose PBS July 21, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> welcome to our program. we begin with the prime minister of great britain, david cameron, answering questions in the house of commons. we have an assessment from lionel barber, the editor of the "financial times," and london bureau chief, catherine mayer. >> it came up in yesterday's hearing, and it's willful blindness. that is to say those people who should have known but didn't ask the right questions, for whatever motive. that is the question that mrs. brooks has to answer. >> we continue this evening with the incredible story of one of the richest women in china, zhang xin. >> from the outside, i hear friends talk about the rise of china, the politicians knowing what they do. in fact, someone mo who ves,
works in china, a different picture. chinese are complaining about the government. the government seems to be rolling out of the policies, and managing the everyday problems. and in terms of theconfence ofecoming a superpower, i see -- i just don't see that. >> we conclude this evening with investigative reporter and author ahony somers. he's written a book called "the eleventh day: the fully sotry 9/11 and osama bin laden." >> what we did in the end was, i hope, successfuy to dispatc to sane americans the utmost of the conspiracy theorist ideas. >> send them away? >> yes. >> but i think what happened was that those ideas, the lingering thoughts about them, have distted the cts and have blurred the things that one really should be concerned
about. >> lionel barber and catherine mayer on david cameron and the house of commons. zhang xin on china. and anthony summers on 9/11 when we continue. if you've had a coke in the last 20 years, ( screams ) you've had a hand in giving college scholarships... and support to thousands of our nation's... most promising students. ♪ ( coca-cola 5-no mnemonic ) every story needs a hero we can all root for. who beats the odds and comes out on top. but this isn't just a hollywood storyline. it's happening every day, all across america. every time a storefront opens. or the midnight oil isurned. or when someone ases a dream, not just a dollar.
they are small business owners. so if you wanna root for a real hero, support small business. shop small. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: in london, thepoliticae hacking scandal were front and center today. british p.m. david cameron addressed the house of commons in an emergency session. the ime minisr's coming in at increasing scrutiny for hiring colson.
today cameron maintaine that he's innocent until proven guilty, however he expressed regret over hiring him. >> of course i regret, and i am extremely sorry about the fury it has caused wit with 20/20 hindsight i wouldn't have offered m the job, and i expect he wouldn't have taken it, but you don't make decisions hindsight,you make them in the present. yo live and you learn, and believe you me i have learned. >> rose: following cameron'sstay leader pressed cameron tik to te more responsibility. >> he says in hindsight he made a mistake by hiring mr. colson. he said if mr. colson lied to him, he would apologize. mr. speaker, that isn't good enough, because people -- it's not about hindsight, mr. speaker. it's not about whether
mr. colson lied to him, it's about all the infmation and warnings that the prime minister ignored. >> rose: joining me from londone "financial times" and catherine mayer, the london bureau chief for "time" magazine. it was t prime minister's day today in london. lionel, how did he do? >> i think i'd give him sevennish out of ten. he was fairly assured, and he did offer what one might colson a conditional apology for hiring andy colson, the former editor of the "news of the world," which of course is at the center of this phone hacking constantly. mr. cameron has been left in the dust by the opposition party leader, so he's had a ways to come from behind, and serious
questions still surround his matter of judgment on why he decided to hire mr. coulson. >> rose: he said nothing thatwot in the hiring of coulson, even though he had been warned? >> the prime minister clearly attaches a great deal to personal loyalty. as he told the house of commons today, he asked mr. coulson whether there was anything he had to hide, whether there was anything wrong, and mr. coulson has also given evidence before parliament. he's been interviewed by the police. so cameron's comment today, was "wl, if i was in effect lie to, not quite indirectly, there will be grave consequences. then at that moment in future i will offer a profound apology." that's quite a lot in etonian terms, charlie. >> rose: i'm not sure whatetoni.
catherine, do you know? >> i've been around enough etians, i'm beginning to learn, partly by bter experience. >> rose: some have speculatedons attracted to mr. coulson he gave from a different kind of background he did, which did not include eaton. >> that's ry much my view, that one of the reasons that andy coulson's disadvantages outweighed his -- were outweighed by his attraction foss cameron is this idea that he could connect with ordinary people, because he came from an ordinary background. you know, he's from -- he's from essex. he went to a normal state school. there's always that confusion in the states, that here public schools the elite schools. you know, he went to -- he went to a public school in the u.s. sense of it. he understood the tabloids, all the things that cameron -- that don't come naturally to some
cameron. >> rose: what does this do tothn britain, both in terms of labor tory and also in terms of how politics are played and perceived? catherine? >> i agree with lionel's assessment. i give cameron a seven for today's performance, but i think he's a long ways from being ou of the woods. he also did attend a ver important back bench committee this evening, the 1922 committee, and they did support him, that back bench tories. his biggest danger is from disaffected members of his own party. there's no big mechanism, no easy mechanism for ousting him. so andy has e advantage of the holiday. all of this will have time to cooldown.
ed milleband, he's right, he's made good progress, but the polls show that although there's been a kind of windy-danging to the tories, the labor has not picked up. the lib-dems, doing badly until now, have gained a little bit. people are not convinced by milleband. i think the relations between the parties remain pretty much unchanged, but ihink these problems have not gone away for cameron, they've just gone io the slightly longer grass, because the police now have until the fall to decide, for example, whether to lay charges. sohat could happen is that all of this could come back with a vengeance around the time of the annual party conferences. >> let's just break this into
parts, charlie. the first , david cameron's short-term problem. and that is this question that his error of judgment in hiring mr. coulson. now, until this affair really broke, you could argue that david cameron led the strongest government in western europe vis-a-vis france, angela merkel in germany, many people see as too passive, not reactin reactio this serious euro crisis, and david cameron managed it with great skill, and at the same time silenced many of those right wing critics, the anti-european wing of his had p. there's been a lot of grumbling about the way mr. cameron h handled this crisis, and questions about is he a real tory, is he just sort of a centrist masquerading as a tory. these have come back.
notably, no one has come out to really defend mr. cameron in his own party. i think the second question that we come to, apart from this severe dent to his authority, and the fact that this story is going to be with us for at least another year, because of what catherine just says is the police inquiry, but also the levinson inquiry on the media. >> yes. >> and relations with the police. so the second part of the question is, the general relationship with the media and politicians. now, that's alwaysoing to be a bit incestuous, it's just that's been very incestuous in britain in the past few years under attorney blair, under gordon brown, and what we now see as an obsession with media management. not just shared by downing street, but also, my goodness, by the meopolitan police. th is the police force in london that sees it necessary to employ more than 50 press officers, including about 10 people who used to work for news international.
this is surely -- >> yes. i went to the -- i went to the committees yesterday. the one that got allhe attention was, of course, the committee with the murdochs and rebekah brooks, but i went to the home affairs committee and sat there when the -- when the just outgoing commissioner of police and the assistant commissioner, also outgoing, and the press officer talked about their relations with the press. it was really truly extraordinary. it wasn't -- it wasn't just the statistic lionel just quoted about the -- these, you know,0 members of 45 strong team being ex-news international journalists, it was things like 30% of paul stevenson's meetings over a five-year period had been meetings with the media had been with news international journalists. it's coming out in recent days that somebody who was a senior executive at the "news of the world" also worked
simultaneously, if you'll pardon the pun, as a translator for scotland yard. there was also somebody who was working both as the chief correspondent -- or chief reporter of the paper. as a police informant. so the -- there was almost no delineation at times between where news international finished around scland yard began. it was really extraordinary. >> rose: there was a headline,lm reuters saying, is britain more corrupt it thinks? >> i tnk we need to be careful before moving too far in that direction. this is not italy. this is certainly not a banana republic. what we've seen is an entangling of media and politicians and police, a kind of causeuasi new
establishment with roles not being clearly enough defined. i think the second point to makeis that let's not forget britain has a very vibrant competitive press. and this story was exposed, not by a police inquire race, not by a parliamentary committee, but by a leading british newspaper "the guardian," helped a little bit by "the new york times," which crucially broke the story that broke the news international's defense that merely a lone actor was responsible for phone hacking. so i think that tests to the vibrancy of the body block. what -- body politic. we need to take a very hard look at our system o self-regulation in the newspaper, press and media industry, and there will be some necessary changes. i hope very much that we will not, however, adopt statutory legislation. > >> rose: could it be argued than
that led to the hacking. >> well, we need to be clear. i'm the editor of "the "financial times"," a competitor of news international, and that financl newspaper in new york, the "wall street journal." so i don't appear to be carrying water, but what i would say is we apply the highest standards of ethics when we're pursuing our stories. while we welcome competition, there are clear limits to what is acceptable. and i think some of those limits are going to be more clearly defined as a result of the judge-led inquiry, which, by the way, charlie will have subpoena power that people will have to testify under oath, along with the other six or so experts that judge levinson will have. that will be a very healthy moment for the media in this country. >> rose: what does this mean fo,
catherine? >> well, i do think that what you saw was a partly -- possibly a theatrical performance. certainly very shakespearean performance. but whatever the cause i do think that this was the moment of transition, the moment of the power passing away in some respect. i don't know when, i don't know how quickly, but rupert murdoch did ok like a spent force. james, i've heard quite divided responses on how h performed. if i re a shareholder, i wouldn't be too happy about him. i thought that -- that he was -- he seemed evasive and repetitive, which to be fair to him i think when he weing asked also repetiti questions, in that surroundingt wasn't very surprising, but he wasn't -- he dn't -- he didn't rely, i think, equate himlf
thnough honor to assure the succession. so i'm rather thinking that this is the beginning of the end of an era. >> the judgment is still out on that. i think that it took about an hour for rupert murdoch, who really is a -- as we know a formidable figure -- to at least wake up or at least become engaged. i think heook some time to adjust to the fact that there he was, being pummeled, having questions asked of him. that's not the role he's accustomed of. he's normally chairman, in charge, asking the questions. so that was a little bit of a psychological shock. he did look detached, rd of hearing, sewhat vulnerableif you like, whereas james murdoch was a lot more pugnacious, a lot of mba speak, too many quantums when referring to money and other such things, but i think the more point is thathere were some very key sues, key
questions, left unanswered. what it adds up to? look, it comes down to the board. it may be tha-- i think we have witnessed the high watermark of rupert murdoch's influence in the media scene in britain, but wheth that signals imminent departure as chairman or chief executthat depends on the board. sameuestion about james murdoch about bskyb, because he'll spend time dealingith the accusations of phone hack. >> rose: are you suggesting thee acquisition of bskyb to own all of it? >> i think that's going to be incredibly difficult given the current climate. news corporation will say this should be a matters of whether the -- there are serious competitioquestions regardg the acquisition of bskyb, the satellite television company, by
news corp. but we're now in the political arena. and just the mood has completely changed in the last week in this country. media plurality, that is the questions about the concentration of media -- and we have to remember that rurt murdoch owns several newspapers, as well as bskyb -- those issues are now cent stage. i think it's politically inconceivable that this merger will g ahead. >> rose: there's also thisquest, is rebekah brooks, and what did she know and what did she say and how did she do. >> the striking thingbout all of the committees, all of these inquiriess not the number of questions that are answered, but e number of qutions that are lt hanging. one aumes that when two police inquireries grind to a halt, when the levinson inquiry does
its work that, we may be closer to the truth on these things. but with brooks, you saw the core of stealing, the self-assurance that's got her to the top of her profession. you saw the charm, but you also saw her ability to sidestep very neatly. she of course did her friend david cameron a favor by emphasizing that, although she did know him, that she had had more contact, more downing street invit from his predecessors. so you sort of wondered when she said that, i'm sure it's true, but it was -- it was a point that hit home, because what you were thinking was what s was not saying, was she's had -- she hadn't bn invited to downing street during his premiership, but, on the other hand, they'd had christmas dinner together. so i don't -- what happens to
her, personally i don't know. none of the people in -- in this set inquiries is abl to get on with the lives until this is finished. >> charlie, a phrase came up during the course of yesterday's hearing, and it is "willful blindness," and that is to say those people who have known but didn't ask the right questions for whatever reason. that's the question ms. brooks has to answer. she's a former editor of "news of the world," hard-driving tabloid editor, editor of "the sun." the question is, why didn't she ask the questions, not just of the -- what was going on on her front page, but
also the questions about the email traffic and the lone act of defense. and that should come out in the course of the inquiries in the next few months. >> rose: with that, thank youve. thank you, catherine. >> you're welcome. >> rose: pleasure you to haveyo. >> thank you. rose: zhang xin is here, thecef the country's largest real estate developers that has made her a billion nair. she's a humble woman that's self-made. she later founded sojo china with her company. the company went public in 2007. it is a remarkable success story. i'm pleased to have her at the table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: are you at allsurprisee to do this? >> i am. today i am. but, you know, of course, 20 years ago when i started, you know when i left china in 1980,
who would have thought china can would be where it is today. >> rose: even today, people say, wild west. >> right. >> rose: does it sti have thatf? >> especially coming to this country. you know, you see things are so well established, and there's a certain ways of doing things, and it's very hard to break it, whereas in china, you know, matter wt industry you're in, you're able to just put your thoughts into it, try something new, becse nothing worked there. so still even -- you know, i've been in real estate for 16 years, right? still feels like anything is possible. >> how did you make the transion from the job that you had to the world that you live in now? >> you know, charlie, i started as factory worker in hong kong. when hong kong was the manufacturing center back in the '80s. so five years i was just, you know, hopping beten factory to factory. and so that's how i started.
>> rose: so what did you do?i wy during the day. at night, i would go to night school. and so five years later i decided this is really enough. i saved about 3,000 pounds. and i decided to leave hong kong d went to england. that was a time, hong kong was still the colony, so england was the obvious place to go. you know, i remember i packed a -- a blanket, a wok that you can -- yourchopper, and a dicti. that's how i started. and i went to england. i was always ready to go back to china, because, you know, in the '80s, whiffs when i was a studn england, china was the exciting moment. you know, for someone who born d grew up in the cultural evolution, the idea china can change, can reform, can move on to something, it was just unthinkable. so i was all the time thinking
how do i get back. >> rose: is there today in chinf we have come this remarkable distance, and that we will be the most powerful country economically and otherwise in the world in a short time? that sense of confidence and self-respect? >> i don't think so. i think it's far from that. you know, from the outside, you know, i hear friends talk about the rise of china, the confidence, you know, that politicians seem to be knowing what the do. in fact, you know, someone who lives, work in china, see a very different picture. you know, chinese are complaining about the government. the government seems to be, you know, running out of the policies and managing everyday problems. you know, in terms of the confidence of becoming a superpower, i see -- i just don't see that.
you know, charlie, you would have met a lot of the chinese politicians, and you don't see that. >> rose: what is it that youthi? >> i think china is becoming a far freer place i was born. rose: that's clear, but is itmt enough? >> it is faster than anybody had imagined. for instance, today, there is a chinese equivalent of twitter. >> rose: right.i myself have 2.n fans on twitter -- chinese followers. >> rose: 2.1 million followers?. and my husband has 5 million. >> rose: you have a long way to. >> it's unthinkable, anybody that can have so many fans. there's no regulation on what i can tweet or not.
people thinking of china as a authoritarian regime -- >> rose: people think aboutgooge hacked by the government, that -- >> that's true. >> rose: what does that say?i tl these coexisting in china. you know, on the one hand you see the google story, right? google is being hacked, and, on the other hand, you know, you see the twitter that's tremendously dynamic, anybody that can go on and tweet anything. you don't understand why this powerful chinese government would allow it to be there. they care so much about google, then how did this one come in to existence, but it does, and that's china of today. >> rose: help us understand why. >> we live in this amazing inrmation time where nobody can afford not to care about t
media. therefore even the chine government, who are not elected, who -- you know, who don't seemingly ed to be responsible for -- to the voters, and yet they are amazingly popular. they care about every policy, how the media report, particularly the chinese twitter, the bloggers and twitters, and talk about it. they think a lot about it. they are in this whole china -- modernizing china. it is different from how china was from before, even though this is a one-party system, but there's incredible space of freedom still there. >> rose: you're looking at a ne. >> right.
>> rose: to hu jintao andothers. do they represent something different, or is it the generation after this generation that you'll see a different kind leadership, more open, more bolder, more aware of china's role on the global stage? >> i frankly don't think there's that much difference, and nor does it matter. ros from one generation ofpolie next. >> first of all, they all come from relatively similar background. none of them have fought the war for the revolution. so -- >> rose: none of them?none of t. and yet they have all tasted the fruit of open door and the reforms, economic reforms. but, you know, deep down, they're still very much into the legacy of communist party.
so i think, you know, whether it's this generation or next generaon, i personally don't see much of a fundamental change, but i do see -- >> rose: in termof theattitude - >> the style, the attitude, the education. i think you would get more or less very similar style. >> rose: you don't have the samn leadership and the public at large that you have, say, in the united states. >> uh-huh. >> rose: no one suggest that iso become or evolving to become the same kind of western democracy that we have here, but what is it becoming, in your judgment? >> i don't know. there's no word to describe it. you know, to a lot of people, china is still, you know, socialism, socialt, and yet it is not, for the one that live there, work the, and we know how much freedom we do have. >> rose: but 50% of theenterprie
controlled, wouldn't saw i? >> periodically the state still exercise its power of controlling the price, setting the ceiling price, for now for real estate, for instance, but largely, you know, price is quite market determined. jobs are market determined. lives are self-determined, different from my parents' generation, where you worked for the government, everything is controlled by the government. that's no longer the case. >> rose: is it's a level pyingfn china? >> i think women have more freedom in china than elsewhere. that's how i feel. >> rose: why do you say that?yon this country, for instance, you know,omen need to attend so many things, whether it's family, children, work and so on. just very little help. whereas in china, you know, you typically would have three generations live togethe so i have children, tn my parentwould there to help.
and then for urban middle-class families, nearly family would have domestic help. so you have a fast infrastructure in china that pret much forms, because china is- you know, has such a high population. there's always people from rural china coming to the city to look for jobs. and therefore they ended up mostly as domestic help. >> rose: that's one of the grean from the rural to urban. >> and that had real freed up women in the city to do -- you know, to pursue the intellectual purpose that we have in life. i see so many chinese women in boardrooms, lessith government-owned companies definitely, right, less in politics, but entrepreneurialship everywhere. >> rose: we think of beijing anf us. we don't think of the
extraordinary expanse of this country, and how populated it is in some of the othe cities that most people don't know about. >> well, there are more than 10 cities in china, has population more than 10 million. >> rose: can you imagine a timeg other than what you do now? >> i am already beginng to spend a bit more time on charity work, for instance. you know, as i look forward -- >> rose: were you there whenbilt came to china? >> i was there, i was there. >> rose: what was the responsetg pledge? >> they didn't talk about it. contrary to what the media report, they didn't talk about it at all. warren was very good. he shared his experience, how he started his charity work. very personal. >> rose: is he kind of a folkhe? >> oh, people, you know, warren. >> rose: that was amazing.bill t i think they're just there to
share their personal stories. they had put no pressure on anybody. >> rose: well, they don't everpp the idea of what excites them about it, which is not pressure, but it's more of an explanation. >> that's true. >> rose: ithere a developingphin china? >> like everything in china, it's the beginning. so fil philanthropy, very new. and hardly anycharity you can put money to, becau whe you look at it there are two state-owned charities. you don't really know are the projects they put money to. what we do is we decided, because there's no charity to put money to, there are things that we want to do, we decided just to -- rather than just give a check, write a check withmones and start doing it. we train teachers in rural china toteach children's virtues.
that's what we do. we build toilets in rural china in schools, where there's hardly any -- you know, any sanitary infrastructure. so every year, two weeks of the year, you would go to visit all these schools and sit through these classes, listen to them, just to hear how the children reond to the virtues program. >> rose: do you think you'vebeeu worked harder, were smarter, or used your combination of assets better? >> what i think was the right timing and the right place. with china being where it is now, and that's the most important. >> rose: wouldou say today toa g from an american university, come to china and you can still findvthat will rival anywre in e world? >> you know, i had dinner with a
friend of -- a friend of mine, he was sharing with me, all his children are graduating from harvard, cannot get a job. i said, come to china. there are plenty of jobs. he said, oh, but they don't speak chinese. i said, they will by t time they come. i didn't speak english, but by the time you come you will pick it up. >> rose: so you think theyshouls opportunity in china? >> oh, yeah definitely. if they cannot get a job here, why not? >> rose: will china t be able tr the next 25 years? >> the most pressing for issue r china is education. we look around, where are the things where we still really lag behind. i think inevitably we look at education and realize that our education system is still very much stuck in the olds day when i go into a school today,
everything in china has changed, but school is exactly the same as when i was a student there. in this country, people talk about how many engineers china is producing, b the truth is education is where china needs to reform. >> rose: is thera pn, anintent? china has said by 2050 it would like to have two of the great universities in the world to rival cambridge and oxford, harvard, yale and duke. >> china has the biggest pool of people simply buying having the biggest populatn. it's not will that counts the most. it's the system has to allow the talents to be educated. right now we don't have that system, because our education system is state controlled.
china, defeat where it is, not by being state controlled. by being entrepreneurial, by being privatized, and the education has to be privatized. >> rose: and everybodyunderstanp down? >> i don't think so. >> rose: they don't?i don't thi. i think people are still thinking, we've done great in getting rid of iiteracy. nine years free education. and yet the quality of the education is still not there. >> rose: pple lk aboutbules. wins a reaone is a real estate bubble. do you worry aboutçó that? >> i don't. you'd laugh, because i a developer, of course i would say that. you look at where china is today, the chinese government a year ago, i would be quite worried about the bubble, because so much money is going into the chinese real estate, and so many buildings being built, and yet the utility of the buildings are not as good
as -- or the speed of the utility of t buildings. >> rose: does that mean theoccu? >> i major cities like ijing and shanghai, you would see very high occupancy, but in outskirt, you know, in less established cities, you would have lower occupancy. i'm talking about office. and that was worrisome. you know, so much channeling into real estate to build, they're not being used immediately, then that's worrisome. in the end, they all get digested, because china is growg. you know, offices will be taken down, homes taken up, but you still worry temporarily if is there too much unoccupied buildings. but what happens this year is that the government has come up with an austerity measure. that measure, you as a family,
we as a family, can only buy one apartment. i cannot take on a second mortgage, because no buying, therefore no selling therefore no building thereforeoland transactions. so a yego, that was seemingly a building up of the real estate bubble. by now, it's all been frozen. and why has it been frozen by the government,ou have to ask. in fact, what happens is the government has decided they want to build low-income housing to take ce of the lower-income grou and th will take at least a year and a half to two years to build. whilewaiting, they don't want to see the price go up, so they freeze the market oig as you ma. >> rose: there's much attentiona wants to change its economic model from an exporting model to a domestic consumption model. >> right. >> rose: can they do that in th? >> this doesn't happen
overnight. you know, this is -- this is a gradual process. i think certainly the direction is there. you know, china became an export-oriented country, because we had the cheap labor. >> rose: right.you know, that's- >> rose: and american demand.am. you know, to change from that to domestic consumption, you need -- in china now, of course ha people with more moneyhan before, but still have you take a per capita income level, it's still very low. so it won't happen overnight, people will change from saving money, producing -- >> rose: move from saving tospe? >> it doesn't happenovernight. >> rose: because ty did nothavea safety net to take care -- >> i don't think it's that even. i think this i a generational thing. you know, my paren, who most
of the life lived with the revolution, don't spend money, whether they have money or not. my generation, we begin to make some money, so we begin to spend some money. >> rose: yes, you did.the younge had very little understanding of the hardship. you know, only lived in today's world would have a higher propensity to spend we do. i think it's a generational thing. >> rose: what's your greatestin? >> art, architecture. i happen to be a developer, so that helps a lot. >> rose: the architecture critid the cctv building the greatest building of the 21st century. >> oh, really? >> rose: you like architecture?? do you share that sense of what that building represes? >> you know, i look at beijing,
there's man great buildings. nearly all built in the last 10 years. i come to this country, new rk, where on earth, other than new rk, has the most concentrated art collectors, and yet i don't see develers using their art eye, you know, artful eyes. >> rose: in the buildings theyb? >> in the buildings they build. they don't seem to incorporate that art -- architecture in the work they . >>ose: is that part of thebusin, the idea of the triumph of the deal? >> no, no. it's the architecture and the art and the imagination of building something real, unseen. that's by far the most exciting part. >> rose: is that by far part ofu successful, the idea that you brought that to bear in terms of those projects you were -- that served you well? >> well, i think this is certainly the most exciting part of what i do.
it distinguishes from us other developers, because people would look at this building a say, oh, that's a sojo building. >> rose: you can go to china,low it's a so he building. what would they look like? >> all very avant-garde. in beijing,e build a lo so if you drive around being, you'll see a lot of sojo buildings. >> rose: what kind of art do yo? >> contemporary. i don't collect so much art. it's architecture that we do. >> rose: so what makes youoptimt makes you guarded about china's future? >> i think if you 1 take a 1year view from now, you would feel very optimistic about china. >> rose: 10 years?i do. >> rose: you can't see beyond 1? >> or even longer. trying to say, if you take a long-term view, then you would really the -- you know, the rise of china, and it will continue.
but if you take a short-term view, you will see so many problems. so i think china -- >> rose: but these are mainlywh? >> well, all kinds of problems. the economic problems. you see the income disparate. you talked about the bubbles of the real estate. you know, the -- >> rose: rural/uan, that kindof? >> rural/urban, all that. >> rose: lots of people look ata and can't access certain websites that they'd like to. this was a google issue as well, as you know. will that change? >> i remember i heard this from bill gates, that in a few years' time, given the technology, none of that would matter, because the technology would be so advanced that nothing can block it. >> re: it's great to ve youhere. >> thank you, charlie. >> ros thank you. >> rose: this fall marks theten1
attacks. the recent kilng of osama bin laden marked a defining moment in the fight agast al-qae. conspiracy thries still coinue about the events of september 11th. a new book explores some of the question. an excerpt exploring the connection between saudi arabia and the 9/11 hijackers appears in this month's "vanity fair" magazine. joining me is the book's co-author anthony summers. i'm pleased to have him back. he's an old friend from a long time ago. welcome. good to see you. robin is your co-author and wife. >> 20 years wife. >> rose: and five years working? >> absolutely. >> rose: you began to realizeths having to do with 9/11. so you wted to what? >> when i came to see my publishers at random house in new york, i found that my own publisher didn't believe the conspiracy theories, butelt in some wayhat theublic had been cheated, that there was
some secret there. the other thing at the core -- >> rose: your publisher put youi think you say there's a lingering sense that the nation and world had been let down. >> had been let down, and the skeptics believe thain some way the bush administration had either had some warning that something wa coming, but allowed it to happen in order to further their plans to invade in the middle east, as it turned out in iraq, or at the extreme end of conspiracy theory, that they'd actually provoked the attacks themselves. now, on its face it all sounds -- talking about it here and now -- daft, but there were enough straws in the wind to say go and look at this. >> rose: now you have a bookcale fully sotry of 9/11 and osama bin laden." what is it that you think hand
that we don't know? >> whatde in the end i hope was successfully dispatch for sane americans the utmost of the conspiracy theorists' ideas. >> rose: send them away?yes. but i think what happened is that those -- those ideas, the lingering thoughts about them, have distorted the facts and have blurred the things that one really should be concerned about. there are a lot of things that one should still be -- >> rose: and they are?the rst o, is what u.s. intelligence actuly kw and what it did about in advance. it's the first two terrorists that arrived on u.s. soil had been identified by the cia, they knew thathey were al-qaeda, they knew their names, they knew that they had u.s. visas, and in one case they learned quite quickly that one of them had arrived in thwwnited states,
and yet they did not tell the fbi. >> rose: what do you believe wae saudi government, or leading figures in saudi arabia, and men who were on those planes on 9/11? >> there are two areas. the first of the areas is the -- in the period in the years leading up to 9/11, there is good evidence -- and we name two of the princes involved in the book. one is a longtime head of the interior ministry, internal intelligence. d another prince who's the chief -- was the defense chief in saudi arabia, and is now second in line to the throne. it is sa -- and was reported indeed in the "wall street
journal" -- that they raised a lot of money over the years to pay off bin laden, not to attack saudi arabia, because he was outside, he was in afghanistan, not to attack saudi arabia. in this country, if you and i re talking about the mafia, we'd call it protectionmoney. that is one area. the people who investigated 9/11, and earlier at the cia, concluded that the saudis had been paying protection money for a long time. the second area that i think is especially interesting, and that both the joint inqui for congress and the 9/11 commission people delved into is the evidence on the ground in california, where the first two terrorists, the ones already identified by the cia, arrived. they arrived and the evidence suggests that an imam, the religious man at the saudi
consulate first okayed them as sort -- first gave them a sort of tour of the area in los angeles. after that, the two of them connected with another saudi, who was paid from official sources, but apparently not for doing any known work, who had been thought of for a long time as a saudi agent. they connected with him in a meeting that was odd. he says he heard arabic being spoken in a restaurant, and that the meeting was pure chance. doesn'sound like it. in fact, it sounds mething out of a very bad spy novel. he dropped a newspaper, and when he bent to retrieve the newspaper, they started talking that each other. he then helped set them up in an apartment, kept contact with them. in other words, gave them help. they didn't speak english. they were pretty much lost in california. and they were the pioneers, if you like, of the 9/11 operation, the guys who arrived first.
and there were other saudis who helped them one way or another were identified, all by the left -- immediately at 9/11, all had left two or three weeks before. >> rose: what has adistinguishee reporter from ireland, who i used to know from the bbc, what has he discovered that ought to draw our attention? and what ought to be the consequences of thatdiscovery is what i'm asking. >> back to the beginning of our conversation, you asked why i was doing a book, and i said i waed to a lot a conspiracy stuff, which certainly has elements of it have convinced huge numbers of americans, and equally important hug numbers of people around the world -- the last poll i saw on this suggest that is 46% of people abroad, which mostly i think the poll was referring mostly to the middle east -- believe that someone other than al-qaeda was behind this.
that'subbi. al-qaeda of cour was behind it. i wanted to deal with the consracy theories, get as near to that elusive thing called the truth that one catherin could -- >> rose: of all those conspirack has merit? >> if you're referring to the conspiracy theorists' theories, i don't think any of them. >> rose: none of the conspiracyy merit at all? >> i don't think so. >> rose: good.but at the same tk one has been able with this book to get closer to clarity about the issues that did seem to matter, and the big one amongst them was -- were elements of a foreign government involved, and i think we're closer to the idea that elements of the saudi government were involved. >> rose: and the nature of thei? >> collaboration with bin laden through protection money an -- >> rose: knowledge of what binl? >> well, we do have first
confirmation in the book from former-serng cia oicer, who was involved in the capture of a bin laden aide. >> rose: right.and he says thatd afterwards that when this aide was being questioned, intensely questioned over many weeks, that at one point he was conned into thinking he was being transferred to saudi custody, with the idea he'd be terrified and speak, tell all he knew, because the saudis were famous for tortures and for worse for killing prisoners and so on. and far from that. apparently he instead said, o well, let me give you the name and the phone number, which he knew from memory, of a saudi prince. not one of the senior ministers. he sd he'll know -- tell him i'm here, kneel know wha he'll .
and he subsequently named two other princes. all three of those princes -- and this is fact -- died within a week of each other, shortly afterwards. and there is the thought. of course all things can be explained by chance, but it is extremely interesting and full of implications, that all all three ofhem died by chance within a week of each other, and the thought is maybe it s time to shut them up. >> rose: the book is called "thf 9/11 and osama bin laden." captioning sponsored by rose communications captned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org